Access to Period Products on the Armstrong Campus

Shelf of Period Products at GusMart

Two students brought up the issue of access to period products in an interview with The George-Anne Inkwell’s staff writer, Jabari Gibbs.

“Every time you go in the bathroom, there’s never any feminine products…maybe more in the bathrooms.” The student also raised concerns about the prices of period products when she buys them from GusMart.

The George-Anne Inkwell sat down with Cherie Gaume, the Dean of Students Administrative Assistant, and Joseph Anderson, the General Manager of GusMart, to get their perspectives on the issue.

GusMart

Pads, tampons and pregnancy tests are new to GusMart this semester, and they are available behind the counter. GusMart sells a ten-pack of super pads and super tampons behind the counter. The prices are higher because GusMart is not buying large quantities at a discount like large grocery stores. If students need large quantities like that, they should consider getting a delivery from Wal-Mart or using the Period Pantry on campus.

Students who need a different size pad or tampon should ask the cashier to send a note to management, so they can put that item on the list for the next shipment. No students have requested any different size period products so far.

H. T. Hackney supplies GusMart with all period products. If they do not have the products GusMart requests, GusMart cannot do anything about that. Anderson said that sometimes they get the list of merchandise with their order only to find zero next to the quantity.

Additionally, GusMart shares a small storage room with two other vendors in Eagle Dining Services, so they can only buy what they have space to store. Anderson said that if someone buys up all the stock, they have to wait until next week to get more.

Period Pantry

After the person who started the Period Pantry graduated, the service was supposed to get another student assistant, but that never happened so it became part of the Captain’s Cupboard.

The name “Period Pantry” was meant to invite a conversation. Gaume said people should not be afraid to come and request menstrual products if they need them.

The Period Pantry relies on donations to provide a variety of period products to students. At press time, they offer menstrual cups and washable pads as well as various sizes and brands of pads and tampons.

Gaume stocks the bins in the bathroom in the Student Union. Other people have set up bins for tampons and pads in locations such as the library and Waters College of Health Professions, but Gaume is unable to keep track of all the bins in all the bathrooms on campus.

“I’m in the works of trying to get volunteers to help stock the bathrooms because it would be hard to do that myself,” Gaume said. She talked about having multiple students divide the duty and be in charge of certain buildings on campus. At press time, she stocks the bins every Friday.

Gaume fills the bins in the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms in the Student Union. “We constantly have to restock the downstairs bathroom,” Gaume said.

The menstrual products in the bathroom are meant for emergencies. Health Services also provides a day’s worth of products if students have an emergency need.

If students have a long-term need for period products for the month or longer, they should contact Gaume at cgaume@georgiasouthern or 912-344-2514. They can also stop by the Dean of Students office on the second floor of the Student Union to the right of the elevator. She keeps a bag of period products under her desk in her office because she cannot always leave her desk to go to The Captain’s Cupboard.

Gaume tells students who need period products to come to her office and get what they need for the moment, and then they can schedule a time to pick up more. Students can even pick up a whole box of tampons or pads or a bag mixed with both tampons and pads that will sustain them for the month. “If you need something, we will get it for you,” Gaume says.